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Colin W. G. Clifford, Branka Spehar, Samuel G. Solomon, Paul R. Martin, Zaidi Qasim; Interactions between color and luminance in the perception of orientation. Journal of Vision 2003;3(2):1. doi: 10.1167/3.2.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
At the early stages of visual processing in humans and other primates, chromatic signals are carried to primary visual cortex (V1) via two chromatic channels and a third achromatic (luminance) channel. The sensitivities of the channels define the three cardinal axes of color space. A long-standing though controversial hypothesis is that the cortical pathways for color and form perception maintain this early segregation with the luminance channel dominating form perception and the chromatic channels driving color perception. Here we show that a simple interaction between orientation channels (the tilt illusion) is influenced by both chromatic and luminance mechanisms. We measured the effect of oriented surround gratings upon the perceived orientation of a test grating as a function of the axes of color space along which the gratings were modulated. We found that the effect of a surround stimulus on the perceived orientation of the test is largest when both are modulated along the same axis of color space, regardless of whether that is a cardinal axis. These results show that color and orientation are intimately coupled in visual processing. Further, they suggest that the cardinal chromatic axes have no special status at the level(s) of visual cortex at which the tilt illusion is mediated.
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